Thursday, February 24, 2011

Social Distortion, Stan Freese to be honored at annual Orange County Music Awards

I hope to see many of you at the annual Orange County Music Awards, which are set to be held at City National Grove of Anaheim on Saturday night, March 5, 2011. Here is the latest big news related to the annual celebration of Orange County's thriving and notable music scene.

Each year OC Music Awards presents two outstanding achievement honors for Orange Country Impact and Lifetime Achievement. The Orange County Impact Award honors a renowned local band or artist for their impact on the Orange County music scene. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes those individuals who have had a significant presence in the local scene, working to further local music whether they are a musician or music industry professional.

Each year OC Music Awards presents two outstanding achievement honors for Orange Country Impact and Lifetime Achievement. The Orange County Impact Award honors a renowned local band or artist for their impact on the Orange County music scene. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes those individuals who have had a significant presence in the local scene, working to further local music whether they are a musician or music industry professional.

Stan Freese has been directing the entertainment for the Walt Disney Company for over 40 years. His roles have spanned Director of Bands at the Walt Disney World Resort and the Disneyland Resort, Show Director for Tokyo Disneyland, Entertainment Producer for Pleasure Island and Walt Disney World, Musical Show Director for Tokyo Disney Seas and most recently Talent and Casting Director for Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and Downtown Disney. Stan is also a world-renowned tuba soloist with an expansive and versatile career, from performing on the Great Wall of China to a command performance for the President of the United State at the White House. He has received multiple musical honors, and achievements and shared stages with the likes of iconic artists Chuck Berry, Joe Walsh and A Perfect Circle to name a few. Among his numerous lifetime achievements he managed to start a family during his full career and raise two sons, Josh and Jason Freese, who developed extremely successful musical careers of their own.

For more information on the Orange County Music Awards, check out


Photo credit: Brian Kaplan

Photo Caption: Jamey Johnson receives a plaque commemorating the gold certification of The Guitar Song, during a gathering Friday, Feb. 18, 2011 at the Palm in Nashville, TN.

Appearing in photo (left to right): Ken Levitan, Vector Management; Jamey Johnson, Mercury Nashville Recording Artist; Luke Lewis, Chairman, UMG Nashville

NASHVILLE, TN –Universal Music Group Nashville presented Jamey Johnson with a plaque commemorating the gold certification of his ambitious 25-song double album, The Guitar Song, during a gathering Friday, Feb. 18, 2011 at the Palm in Nashville.

The Guitar Song is up for Album of the Year at the Academy of Country Music Awards and received two Grammy nominations -- Country Album of the Year and Best Male Country Vocal performance for “Macon.”

The Nashville Scene’s 11th annual Country Music Critics’ Poll named The Guitar Song the best album of 2011 and named Johnson Artist of the Year, Best Male Vocalist and Best Songwriter. Both Rolling Stone and Spin ranked the album No. 5 on their lists of the Best Albums of 2010 and “Macon” was ranked No. 23 on Rolling Stone’s Best Singles of 2010.

UMG Nashville chairman Luke Lewis presented Johnson with the framed plaque. “I can’t be any prouder than to hand my friend Jamey Johnson a gold record,” Lewis told the crowd.

Also on hand to receive gold plaques were the album’s producers, Arlis Albritton, Dave Cobb and The Kent Hardly Playboys, and his manager, Ken Levitan.

Johnson thanked his band, producers, management and label staff for all they did to make the album a success.

“It’s always cool to stop what you’re doing and bring the whole team together,” he says. “These guys and gals usually don’t get to see each other on a regular basis, so it’s good that when they do, we’re celebrating an accomplishment like that. It’s something everybody worked equal parts on and holds an equal amount of responsibility for the success of it.

“Everybody in this room has earned their money,” he says with a laugh, “and I appreciate it.”

Johnson is thankful for the honors and accolades the project has received and even more delighted that he could share the spotlight with those who don’t often receive attention for their work.

“We get positive feedback from the audience every night, so that is our thank you. But the people who work behind the scenes that maybe aren’t on the road with us and don’t’ get that immediate feedback, that immediate thank-you from people, it’s real important for them to get to come out and share a night like this with everyone else.

“If it hadn’t had gone gold, we’d probably still have a party and patted each other on the back no matter what because it is a good team. It’s a great team of people working hard and getting it done. Music ain’t exactly the easiest profession to be in, but it’s one of the best, if you ask me.”

After the presentation, Johnson walked across the street to the Bridgestone Arena, where he performed as part of the Kid Rock tour.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

SXSW is coming: Ron Sexsmith, World Party, Queens of the Stone Age, Henry Wolfe

Although I will not be attending the South By Southwest Music and Film Festival in March, there is lots of news relating to the event I wanted to highlight here.

'Love Shines' Music Documentary On Ron Sexsmith Offers Rare Glimpse Into Life Of Award-Winning Artist

U.S. Premiere At SXSW Film Festival In Austin, Texas March 15 and 16; A Film By Douglas Arrowsmith

Paperny Films is pleased to announce the US Premiere of Love Shines at the South By Southwest Film Festival in Austin, TX, showing on March 15 (6:15 p.m. Alamo Ritz 2) and March 16 (7 p.m. Vimeo Theater). Almost a decade in the making, the film documents the journey of lauded Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith as he attempts to transform from a respected indie balladeer to a mainstream artist. Sexsmith's new album Long Player Late Bloomer will be released March 1 on Ronboy Rhymes.

In Love Shines, Ron Sexsmith lays everything on the line to make a hit
album. The curtain is pulled back for a rare and intimate glimpse inside the studio and creative processes as Sexsmith partners with legendary hit-maker producer Bob Rock (Metallica, Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe) to record his forthcoming Long Player Late Bloomer, one of the artist's best albums to date. Sexsmith dreams of emerging with a commercial hit that achieves widespread radio play. Through a series of flashbacks the songwriter confronts the meaning of success, weighing the lure of stardom against the humble beginnings that sparked the birth of his songs. Punctuated by Super 8 footage chronicling the early years, an extraordinary playlist and a stellar cast featuring Elvis Costello, Steve Earle, Feist, Kiefer Sutherland and Daniel Lanois, Love Shines is a journey to the heart and soul of what songwriting is truly about.

"Director Douglas Arrowsmith has done something quite rare, and quite
remarkable: He's dedicated the last several years of his working life into following Sexsmith through the highs and lows of his career. The result is a film that delivers genuine honesty and intimacy." - David Paperny, Executive Producer, Paperny Films.

'Love Shines' was commissioned by The Movie Network and Movie Central with funding from Astral's Harold Greenberg Fund and Rogers Documentary Fund.

'Love Shines' at SXSW Film Festival:
March 15 - 6:15 p.m. - Alamo Ritz 2
March 16 - 7 p.m. - Vimeo Theater

Douglas Arrowsmith - is a Gemini award-winning director (The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television) who specialises in singer/songwriter films.

His last film Memory & Desire (2009) follows Stephen "Tin Tin" Duffy,
Duran Duran originator and Brit-pop songwriter as he journeys to reunite with his folk roots and his band The Lilac Time, following his world tour with Robbie Williams. The film was nominated for the "Sound & Vision" Award at Copenhagen's CPH:DOX Festival, and for "Best Micro-Budget Feature" at London's 17th Raindance Festival. Douglas has a Ph.D. in Social & Political Thought from York University where he began his passion for studying singer/songwriters after completing a series of interviews with famous performers.

Paperny Films Inc. - run by partners David Paperny, Audrey Mehler, and Cal Shumiatcher - is an independent, Vancouver-based production company that has garnered worldwide acclaim for its provocative, innovative, and entertaining television programming. From groundbreaking documentaries to reality television series to lifestyle programming, Paperny Films excels in capturing the essence of human stories.



World Party has confirmed their return to the U.S. this spring for a string of SXSW dates - including a Friday performance at Auditorium Shores - and two performances at Joe's Pub in NYC on March 22 and 23.

Formed in 1986, essentially as the solo project of Karl Wallinger (previously of cult heroes The Waterboys), World Party celebrates its 25th anniversary this year with a flurry of activity and new projects that will give fans plenty to look forward to in 2011.

The group will release a 4-5 CD collection this spring, packed with unreleased studio gems and live recordings via Wallinger's own label, Seaview Records. Painstakingly curated, the tracks in this collection are as fresh and relevant as anything Wallinger has released in his storied career with World Party. This collection will be preceded by the launch of an all new World Party song.

World Party will also embark on its most extensive U.S. tour since 2006 later this year. A full list of dates will be announced soon.

Beloved by critics and fans, World Party has amassed a collection of hit singles over its history, including "Ship of Fools", "Message in the Box," "Way Down Now" and "Is It Like Today?". In recent years, Wallinger has taken World Party to the stages of Bonnaroo, Bumbershoot, San Francisco's Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival and elsewhere.

Fri, 3/18 - Austin, TX (SXSW) @ The Speakeasy (Fontana day party)
Fri, 3/18 - Austin, TX (SXSW) @ Auditorium Shores
Sat, 3/19 - Austin, TX (SXSW) @ Cactus Café (KUT day party)
Tues, 3/22 - New York, NY @ Joe's Pub
Wed, 3/23 - New York, NY @ Joe's Pub
(all shows w/ full band)

For more information on World Party, visit

Queens of the Stone Age to Headline Rolling Stone’s South by Southwest Showcase

Rolling Stone announced last week that Queens of the Stone Age will headline the magazine’s South by Southwest showcase on March 16, kicking off four days of events at La Zona Rosa.

Queens of the Stone Age will be re-releasing their self-titled 1998 debut album on their own label, Rekords Records, in March, and their SXSW performance will launch the band’s 2011 North American tour.

“We’re excited to be doing another year of concerts at SXSW,” said Jason Fine, Rolling Stone. “We can’t think of a better lineup to help kick it off.”

The Wednesday showcase lineup also includes The Black Angels, Mini Mansions, J Mascis and Beast Make Bomb (winner of the Converse Get Out of the Garage contest). The complete lineup for all four days of events will be announced next week.

More information on the Rolling Stone showcase is available at

Dual Threat Henry Wolfe Debuts at SXSW, on the Silver Screen This Spring

The intrinsically melodic songwriter Henry Wolfe is earning his LA Times title as a "2011 Face to Watch." In addition to his "smart, immediately hummable" debut album Linda Vista (April 5, Undermountain Records), Wolfe will also make appearances in two different films this year and has a song in the Sundance competitor 'Terri.'

At SXSW, Wolfe will perform at:
--The Billions Day Party - Thursday, March 17, 4 p.m. on the indoor stage at Mohawk
--Hotel Café's showcase - Saturday, March 19, 10 p.m. at The Tap Room (at Six Lounge)

Wolfe appears in The Wait - directed by M Blanch, and starring Chloe Sevigny ('Big Love,' 'American Psycho') and Jena Malone ('Saved!', 'Into The Wild') – which he describes as a "supernatural drama" about two sisters who keep their deceased mother's body anticipating that she will come back to life.

Wolfe's plays himself in the David Zuckerman-directed 'Wolfe With an E.' An idea borne out of the recording sessions for Linda Vista, 'Wolfe With an E' follows real-life music journalist Sophie Heawood (Times of London) as she tries to track down the songwriter for an interview while contending with the age-old conundrum of trying to navigate Los Angeles without a car.

"Someone Else" from Linda Vista also made an appearance at Sundance this year, playing over the closing credits of the Azazel Jacobs-directed 'Terri.' Another song from the album "Stop the Train" was featured in 2009's 'Julie and Julia.'

For more information, visit

Monday, February 21, 2011

Earth, Wind & Fire funks up Honda Center

This review was originally posted on The Orange County Register Web site on Sunday, February 20, 2011.

Watching Earth, Wind & Fire perform before a near-capacity crowd at Honda Center Saturday night (Feb. 19, 2011), it suddenly occurred to me: This is the band that should be featured at the next Super Bowl halftime show.

Compared to how disposable the Black Eyed Peas were in Dallas earlier this month — not to mention how forgettable they were opening for U2 at the Rose Bowl in October 2009 — such lackluster sets don’t appear to be in EW&F’s playbook.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary as a group this year, EW&F, the Hall of Fame outfit that has inspired countless modern-day hit-makers, headlined Front & Center 2011, an annual fund-raiser held to benefit Cal State Fullerton’s President’s Scholars Program. Over the course of 90 magical minutes, the 12-member troupe demonstrated that dance music need not be routine, tender ballads need not be syrupy, and that great bands can appeal to listeners who don’t fit into a single demographic.

The performance featured a minimal amount of mindless chit-chat, save for a thank-you to the university’s talented students for offering a song-and-dance introduction to the band and, later, to introduce the full EW&F ensemble.
Instead, the night was all about the music, with singer Philip Bailey, singer-percussionist Ralph Johnson and always-in-motion bassist Verdine White (the three remaining original members) leading the sonic charge with a top-notch cast of rhythm players, a blasting horn section, keyboards and two guitarists. All of them somehow never let things escape from the pocket no matter how much dancing or dazzling lights were going on around them.

Whether performing the band’s early material rooted in more traditional R&B (“Sing a Song,” “Shining Star”) or romantic ballads featuring Bailey’s still-soaring falsetto (“Reasons,” “After the Love Has Gone”) or later hits that blended soul and jazz with disco and funk (“Boogie Wonderland”), the large ensemble always got it right.

Highlights came near the end of the concert, with forceful renditions of the haunting “Fantasy” and the more upbeat anthem “September,” offering a one-two punch that could well impress the masses at a football halftime show or anywhere else.

The master of ceremonies for this event was acclaimed baritone Jubilant Sykes, who discussed strong lessons he learned as a student at Cal State Fullerton. He also sang two winning selections to the delight of the crowd, including “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” and “Witness,” the latter an emotive spiritual featured on his latest album, Jubilant Sykes Sings Copland and Spirituals, which he delivered a cappella, allowing him to showcase his incredible voice.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Headliners announced for 2011 Doheny Blues Festival

I took this photo of rocker John Fogerty at the Doheny Blues Festival in May 2007. The legendary singer-songwriter-guitarist is set to return to Dana Point to perform at the 14th Annual Doheny Blues Festival in May 2011.

What do John Fogerty, Walter Trout, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band and a tribute to the life and music of Jimi Hendrix featuring Billy Cox (Band of Gypsys), Steve Vai, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, David Hidalgo & Cesar Rosas (Los Lobos), Living Colour, Chris Layton (Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble), Robert Randolph, Brad Whitford (Aerosmith), Ernie Isley, Mato Nanji (Indigenous) have in common?

All are scheduled to perform at the 14th Annual Doheny Blues Festival in Dana Point, May 21 and 22, 2011.

Visit the official Doheny Blues Fest Web site for more details on getting advance tickets to this exciting fest.

Or you can call Omega Events at 949-360-7800 for additional information.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Dealers set to perform at The Coach House on Friday night

Indie rock. Alternative rock. Country rock. Hard rock. Modern rock.
Whatever happened to good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll?

It’s alive and well, thanks to an Orange County-based quartet known as The Dealers. As showcased on the band’s recently-issued self-titled debut recorded at Custom Taylored Studios in Fountain Valley, the Dealers’ straightforward rock recalls legends such as AC/DC, the Beatles, Bad Company and Led Zeppelin.
The band, which features Kevin Thews (lead vocals, guitar, harmonica), Kyle Eckermann (lead guitar), Shawn Fox (bass) and Justin Ludwig (drums), will open for Queen Nation (a tribute to the British band Queen) at the Coach House on Feb. 18.
The Lake Forest group has issued a disc that brings classic rock into the 21st century. Songs such as “Don’t Drag Me Down,” “Rock Me” and “Big Bad Bessie” simply groove with an approach that is at odds with the over-produced, digital-fix approach of 2011.

The Dealers will perform at the Coach House, 33157 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, at 8 p.m. on Friday night, Feb. 18.
Those wanting to get an early listen to the Dealers’ commercial release can visit the band’s official Web site at
Tickets are $15 and will be available at the Coach House box office.
Information: 949-496-8930.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blind Boys of Alabama 'Take the High Road'



DUE MAY 3, 2011

Five time Grammy Award and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winners The Blind Boys of Alabama will release a traditional country-gospel album for the first time in their 70-year career on May 3, 2011 (Saguaro Road Records). One of country music’s most acclaimed and compelling artists, Jamey Johnson, co-produced the album and performs on it along with Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr., Lee Ann Womack, and The Oak Ridge Boys, backed by an A-list of top Nashville studio musicians. The result is a stunning, powerful testament to the deep, historic relationship between country and gospel music.

“There wasn’t one person who didn’t bawl like a baby or bust their heart open at least once,”Johnson recounted to the New York Timesrecently, remarking on the intensity of the recording sessions. “It’s been a dream of mine to do a country gospel album and we couldn’t have found a better partner than Jamey” said Jimmy Carter, the last original Blind Boy still touring with the band. “This album beautifully combines two of the seminal roots of the American music tree, gospel and country music. The Blind Boys, Jamey and their hand-picked guests deliver this music in a searingly authentic way,” adds Mike Jason , Senior Vice President, Retail for Saguaro Road Records

The concept for the collaboration started with original Blind Boy Jimmy Carter’s longstanding love of country music and his desire to do a traditional country-tinged gospel album. Last year, his idea started to take shape when the Blind Boys were asked to curate a series of shows at the prestigious Lincoln Center Festival. One of the sold-out nights featured country artists Ralph Stanley, Ray Benson (Asleep At The Wheel) and Allison Moorer. Soon after, they met Jamey Johnson and asked him to join them in singing the traditional song “Down By The Riverside” at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Their mutual respect and shared passion for old-time gospel music made for a powerful performance, and that magical moment led to the Blind Boys asking Jamey to produce their next CD. The band had already been planning to make a country record with their Grammy-winning production collaborator Chris Goldsmith, who had enlisted the help of veteran Nashville drummer Chad Cromwell (Neil Young, Mark Knopfler). Jamey then brought in bassist Kevin ‘Swine’ Grantt (Brad Paisley, Daryl Worley) and additional top-notch Music City players, including legends such as guitarist Reggie Young, to join them in the studio. A fantastic array of guest vocalists – Vince Gill, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr, Lee Ann Womack and The Oak Ridge Boys – added to the recording sessions while new friendships were quickly formed and soulful sounds were crafted out of a shared love of real and authentic spiritual music.

The result is a remarkable album, which mines the profound connections between traditional country and gospel music. The amazing spirit and soul of the Blind Boys is celebrated through the songs, some time-tested like Hank Jr.’s energetic re-working of his father’s “I Saw the Light,” and some more recent chestnuts like Danny Flower’s underground classic “I Was a Burden.” Recorded live in just a few days at Ben Folds’ Javelina Studio, the album has the soulful feel of an old-school country classic. In fact, the word got out during the session that something special was going on at the old RCA soundstage, and guests like George Jones, Bill Anderson, and Bobby Bare dropped by just to observe the proceedings. All of them were visibly touched by what they experienced.

This record follows in the renowned Blind Boys tradition of reaching across musical boundaries to collaborate with other artists (from Peter Gabriel and Lou Reed to Anthony Hamilton, Ben Harper and Third Day) to create music that is appreciated as heart-warming, innovative, and inspirational by people from all walks of life.

The Blind Boys of Alabama continue to tour the world, performing over 150 concerts each year. Honored by both the Grammys and The National Endowment for the Arts with Lifetime Achievement Awards, inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, and winners of five Grammy® Awards, The Blind Boys have attained the highest levels of recognition in a career that spans over 70 years and shows no signs of diminishing. Longevity and major awards aside, The Blind Boys have earned praise for their remarkable interpretations of everything from traditional gospel favorites to contemporary spiritual material, and now country, by acclaimed songwriters such as Curtis Mayfield, Prince and Tom Waits. Their performances have been experienced by millions on “The Tonight Show,” “Late Night with David Letterman,” the Grammy® Awards telecast, “60 Minutes II,” and on their own holiday PBS Special. The Blind Boys' live shows are roof- raising musical events that appeal to audiences of all cultures, as evidenced by an international itinerary that has taken them to almost every continent. In 2007, they released the Grammy winning album, Down in New Orleans, their first for Saguaro Road Records, which was followed in 2008 by a companion DVD, Live in New Orleans. In 2009, they released Duets, a collection of songs recorded with artists including Bonnie Raitt, Ben Harper and Randy Travis.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Upcoming albums aplenty: Radiohead's 'The King of Limbs' and many more

There is little doubt that 2011 holds the promise of being a HUGE year for new music.
Look no further than yesterday's announcement that this weekend will see the first new full-length studio album from Radiohead since 2007's In Rainbows .

The King of Limbs will be the world's first so-called "Newspaper Album," and will be available in a number of 21st century-minded editions/formats:

For collectors and mega-fans of Radiohead (which sums up most of the band's followers), there is a special deluxe edition featuring two clear 10-inch vinyl records, a standard CD, a digital download and exclusive artwork (as noted on the band's official Web site: "625 tiny pieces").

That deluxe version sells for $48 for the basic package.

A $53 package also includes a digital pre-order. Both ship May 9, 2011. A general release on CD and 12-inch vinyl album is set for release via all major music retailers on March 28, 2011.

Important note: fans can purchase a $9 MP3 version and a $14 CD-quality WAV file (which sounds better than the smaller format 320 kbps MP3 files) of The King of Limbs on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011 if you preorder the album.

For more information, check out

Legacy Recordings Releasing Heart's 'Night At Sky Church,' an Electrifying Full-Length Live Concert Film, Available Everywhere Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Historic Career-Spanning March 2010 Concert at Seattle's Experience Music Project Lensed in Red Cam HD for Home DVD & Blu-ray Release

Legacy Recordings will release Night At Sky Church, a new full-length concert film from the ground-breaking Seattle-based rock band Heart, available everywhere on DVD and Blu-ray disc on Tuesday, March 8, 2011.

Lensed in glorious Red Cam HD during Heart's triumphant hometown gig last March at the Experience Music Project, Seattle's Rock & Roll History Museum, Night At Sky Church showcases a stunning career-spanning selection of warm, revelatory and electrifying performances.

Night At Sky Church includes definitive interpretations of Heart's biggest hits, some of the most anthemic tunes in the entire classic rock canon ("Barracuda," "Crazy On You," "These Dreams," "Alone," etc) while providing a beguiling in-concert introduction to the band's newest songs ("WTF," "Hey You"), the tracks that drove Red Velvet Car, Heart's first new studio album in six years, straight into America's Top 10 following its release last August.

The concert includes three cuts ("These Dreams," "Safronia's Mark," "Your Long Journey") featuring multiple Grammy® winning bluegrass-country singer-songwriter Alison Krauss. "Working with Ann and Nancy Wilson far exceeded any expectation of how talented and beautiful I already thought they were," said Krauss. "Getting to be a part of this concert was incredible!"

Heart's Night At Sky Church performances show why the Wilson sisters and their music resonate so deeply with fans, and why their influence widens among other musicians.

"Ann and Nancy Wilson, simply put, are rock & roll," said American country artist Carrie Underwood, who performed with Heart on the VH1 special "Heart & Friends - Decades Rock Live!". "For decades, they have been teaching the rest of us that we can all only dream of singing those sky high melodies and looking that cool on the guitar! Heart is the perfect combination of beauty and rock, and I feel more than honored to have shared the stage with them."

Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles, part of the VH1 Divas 2010 line-up with Heart, praised them saying, "The voice, the guitar playing, the song writing: Heart comes on stage, a burning flame. They aren't women who rock. They are rockers who forever changed the course of music and charted a path for my life. I am forever grateful."

"Ann and Nancy have always been and continue to be the best female rock vocalists I've ever heard live," says American pop singer Katy Perry, who also joined Heart as part of the VH1 Divas 2010 roster. "They could sing the phone book, and I would still listen."

VH1 Classic will air a broadcast edition of HEART - Night At Sky Church during the DVD release week. Please check your local listings for showtimes in your area.

Last August, Red Velvet Car, the first new studio album in six years from Heart, entered the Billboard 200 best-selling album charts at #10, becoming the seventh Top 10 album of the group's career. Heart's first album for Legacy Recordings, the critically-acclaimed Red Velvet Car marked the return of the group to the Sony Music Entertainment family. The album reached #1 in sales on in September.

The critical response to Red Velvet Car has been universally ecstatic. "The barracudas are back and at the top of their game," wrote Rolling Stone (September 2, 2010) while USA Today (August 25, 2010) called the album "Intimate, intense and anchored by Ann's powerhouse vocals and Nancy's aggressive acoustic guitar...." The New York Times (August 4, 2010) found Red Velvet Car "aggressive, delicate and enduring" while the Los Angeles Times noted that "Thirty-four years after the band's debut, Heart's dreamboat sails on."

For their first new album since 2004's Jupiter's Darling, the first ladies of arena rock took an acoustic approach to a collection of songs inspired by the world around them, arranged for an assortment of strings including guitar, mandolin, dobro, banjo, fiddle, viola, cello and autoharp, all played by Nancy Wilson and the album's producer, multiple Grammy nominee Ben Mink, who may also be heard on Night At Sky Church.

Nine of the album's songs were written and appeared for the first time on Red Velvet Car. The album's closer, "Sand," is a newly recorded version of a song originally written and recorded by the Lovemongers, Ann and Nancy's 1990's acoustic side project.

Ann Wilson and her younger sister, Nancy Wilson, first showed the world that women can rock when their band Heart stormed the charts in the '70s with hits like "Crazy on You," "Magic Man," "Barracuda," 'Straight On," "Even It Up," "Kick It Out" and so many more. Not only did the Wilson sisters lead the band, they wrote the songs, and played the instruments too, making them the first women in rock to do so. Heart continued topping the charts through the '80s and into the '90s with huge hits like "These Dreams," "Alone," "What About Love," "If Looks Could Kill," "Never," and a string of other hits that showcased the sisters' enormous talents as both musicians and singers. Along the way, Heart sold more than 30 million records, had 21 top 40 hits, sold out arenas worldwide, and had a profound influence on rock music.

Heart were 2008 recipients of VH1 Rock Honors, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Northwest Grammy Foundation, and received ASCAP's award for Excellence in Songwriting in 2009.

Heart - Night At Sky Church - tracklisting


Straight On

Love Alive

Mistral Wind


Hey You

Red Velvet Car

These Dreams (with Alison Krauss)

Safronia's Mark (with Alison Krauss and Ben Mink)

Your Long Journey (with Alison Krauss and Ben Mink)

What About Love


Crazy On You



Magic Man

Bonus tracks

Back To Avalon

Kick It Out

For more information, visit


Given the rousing artistic and commercial success of the first recorded collaboration of legendary country troubadour Willie Nelson and jazz statesman Wynton Marsalis on 2008’s Blue Note album Two Men With the Blues, it’s not surprising that the pair would rendezvous again. The New York Times called it “a smart and heartfelt record,” while Entertainment Weekly wrote that “Willie and Wynton may seem like an odd couple, but this live disc makes the country legend and jazz master sound like natural partners with Marsalis’ usual horn-fronted band doing the driving and Nelson settling in perfectly with his off-beat vocal phrasing.”

The first meeting of these kindred spirits took place at The Allen Room at New York ’s Jazz at Lincoln Center for two nights in 2007; their encore appearance was also staged at the heralded jazz house—this time for two sold-out nights at Rose Theater in February 2009 with special guest Norah Jones. Rather than rehash the previous material Nelson and Marsalis had first presented, the threesome paid homage to the music of the late Ray Charles, the iconic star of soul, r&b, country, jazz and pop.

On March 29, Blue Note will release the category-defying album from those shows, Here We Go Again: Celebrating the Genius of Ray Charles, a 12-tune song cycle about the ups and downs of love. It features tunes that Charles put on the musical map, including “Hallelujah I Love Her So,” “Cryin’ Time,” “Hit the Road Jack,” “Busted,” “Makin’ Whoopie” and arguably his greatest hit, “What’d I Say.” All the tunes feature new, original arrangements by Marsalis and artists within his Jazz at Lincoln Center circle. The songs are rendered in a variety of styles, including gospel two-beat, boogaloo, country ballad, bolero, hard bop, r&b, waltz and 4/4 swing. Instrumental support at the concert came via the trumpeter’s working quintet—tenor saxophonist Walter Blanding, pianist Dan Nimmer, bassist Carlos Henriquez and drummer Ali Jackson—and Nelson’s longtime sidekick, Mickey Raphael, on harmonica.

Marsalis arranged the set list as a story line about love: “You fall in love, you get lost and busted, and then you try to come back,” he says.

“It’s what I call root-groove music,” explains Marsalis. “The root music cuts across all the boundaries and genres in American music.” He adds, “There was a time in the early ‘50s when artists would come up and be influenced by all types of music.” Nelson agrees: “You have to love all kinds of music to put your own interpretation on [the songs].”

Nelson, who praises Charles’s classic country disc I Can’t Stop Loving You, says, “He did more for country music with that one album than any of us could have done because he opened country songs and country music to millions of his fans and brought a whole lot of people together.”

Jones was thrilled to be invited to share the stage. “It was a no-brainer for me,” she says. "I love Willie so much and have had a musical relationship with him. And I’ve always wanted to do something with Wynton.” When she heard the theme of the evening was going to focus on Charles’ music, she got excited: “I know all those songs. We all just love his music. That’s the common factor.”

“This was a special event for me,” says Nelson. “It always is when we get together.”

The track listing for Here We Go Again is as follows:

1. Hallelujah I Love Her So (Gospel 2-beat / Boogaloo / 4/4 Swing)
2. Come Rain or Come Shine (Walking Ballad)

3. Unchain My Heart (Bolero with Habanera bass)

4. Cryin' Time (Country Ballad)

5. Losing Hand (Dirge with Chain-Gang Shuffle)

6. Hit The Road Jack (Gospel 2-beat / 4/4 Swing)

7. I’m Moving On (Boogaloo with Afro-Latin Backbeat / 4/4 Swing)

8. Busted (Gospel 12/8 Shuffle)

9. Here We Go Again (Rhythm & Blues 12/8 Shuffle)

10. Makin’ Whoopie (Hard-Bop 2-beat / 4/4 Swing)

11. I Love You So Much (It Hurts) (Waltz)

12. What'd I Say (Boogaloo)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ringo Starr and legendary friends salute Klaus Voormann

Please note this post was first published on the Orange County Register's Soundcheck blog on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 13, 2011.

On the eve of the 53rd annual Grammy Awards, a cast of rock ‘n’ roll legends gathered at a special event at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles on Saturday morning, Feb. 12, 2011 to honor the music and artwork of a friend who has quietly worked in the shadow of musical giants for a half-century.

So while Klaus Voormann was unable to make the trip from Munich to Southern California (the 72-year-old was recently hospitalized but is recovering), colleagues such as Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, Eagles singer-guitarist Joe Walsh, singer-composer Van Dyke Parks, drummer Jim Keltner, guitarist Albert Lee and others came in a show of support. Art director Daniel Reiss, who worked with Voormann and shares the Grammy nomination for best boxed or special limited edition package (for Voormann & Friends: A Sideman’s Journey), came from Berlin to attend the event on Saturday as well as Sunday’s Grammy Awards.

“Klaus is one of the greatest bass players of all time,” Keltner insisted during a panel moderated by Chris Carter (pictured with Ringo in one of my photos seen at the top of this post), who hosts the weekly Breakfast with the Beatles show on KLOS/95.5 FM. (Keltner’s own distinctive work behind the kit can be heard on classic recordings from Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, Eric Clapton and countless others.)

“Klaus is very steady,” Starr added, adding with characteristic deadpan wit that “he didn’t take a lot of medication like the rest of us.”

Voormann, who befriended the Beatles in 1960 after hearing them perform at a small club in Hamburg, won his first Grammy award in 1966 for designing the Fab Four’s Revolver album cover. He earned his second Grammy as a bass player for his work on the 1971 album The Concert for Bangladesh. On Saturday, the original cover of Revolver (now owned by Walsh, seen in another picture on this post, who purchased it for $1,800 in a Hollywood memorabilia shop in 1979) was displayed at the event.

“He stole it,” quipped Starr, who kept a crowd of musicians and media laughing throughout the morning event.

Voormann has been the subject of renewed interest since the release of A Sideman’s Journey in late 2009. The collection finds the celebrated bassist back in the sonic saddle, performing with Paul McCartney, Dr. John, members of the Manfred Mann Group (he was that band’s bassist during the late ’60s) and all the acclaimed players who were there on Saturday, who recorded a new version of the Sherman Brothers’ “You’re Sixteen” (a hit for Starr in the ’70s) for the project.

Reiss noted that he worked closely with Voormann for about three weeks on completing the elaborate package and design for A Sideman’s Journey, which includes a 14-track album, a bonus DVD, a 68-page hardcover book, a fine-art print signed by Voormann, even a guitar strap.

“It was a wonderful time for us,” Reiss said of the project. “It was such an intense experience working with Klaus. He is always relaxed … it was nice to work with him.” Added Starr of his involvement on the new disc: “It was easy; it wasn’t like he was bossy.”

Walsh was also thrilled to get to record with one of rock’s most celebrated sideman. “I played on ‘Short People.’ It was a happening more than a session. I had never played with any of the people there (at the session). Klaus was on top of the project. It was a great experience for me.”

In August 2010, the Smithsonian Channel aired All You Need Is Klaus, a documentary about Voormann’s contributions to music and art. In addition to his bass work with George Harrison, his playing also can be heard on recordings ranging from John Lennon‘s Plastic Ono Band to Carly Simon‘s “You’re So Vain.”

“Klaus, to me, was always putting his (bass) playing down,” Keltner explained. “He was ridiculous for putting himself down.”

All money raised from Voormann & Friends: A Sideman’s Journey goes toward the nonprofit Lakota Village Fund, a project to provide safe drinking water on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Regardless of whether Voormann wins the Grammy or not (he actually just lost during the pre-telecast ceremony, to Jack White & Rob Jones for the White Stripes‘ Under Great Northern Lights), the best news about him this weekend came via a webcast audio message from his wife Christina, alerting friends and fans that Voormann is on the mend: “He is overjoyed that all of you have come.”

For more information on the Lakota Village Fund, visit

Friday, February 11, 2011

Newport Beach Jazz Party ready to swing

John Pizzarelli photo credit: ART PAZORNIK

This story originally was posted on The Orange County Register Web site on Feb. 9, 2011.

For those who love mainstream jazz, the Newport Beach Jazz Party is one of the most highly-anticipated and aptly-titled events on the Orange County live music calendar.
"It's three days – and four nights – of straight-ahead jazz," said John McClure, co-producer of the Newport Beach Jazz Party. The event will be held at the Marriott Newport Beach Hotel & Spa, Feb. 17-20.

McClure and his co-producer Joe Rothman (who is the founder of the jazz fest) have a mutual love of mainstream jazz that has found a place in the heart of both area fans and lovers of the genre who come from around the globe to attend the festivities. The event is expected to attract an intimate audience of 450 a day, with a number of acclaimed musicians such as singer Frank Sinatra, Jr., singer-guitarist John Pizzarelli, trombonist Dan Barrett, pianist Benny Green, drummers Lewis Nash and Jeff Hamilton, the Blue Note Swing Orchestra, the Ken Peplowski Quartet and many others scheduled to perform.
McClure noted that the Newport Beach Jazz Party is fashioned after the jazz party concept that well-known jazz aficionado Dr. Dick Gibson launched in Colorado in the early 1960s.

"The idea is to bring in the best jazz players – working professionals that like playing together. The thing they have in common are standards, the Great American Songbook."
The entire hotel is utilized with evening concerts held in the Grand Pacific Ballroom, while several daytime champagne brunches and poolside sessions offer up additional shows. About a third of those who attend are from Southern California, while the remaining concertgoers come from other areas around the nation or from overseas.

"For me, I make my living playing and singing," Pizzarelli said recently by phone from Jacksonville, Fla., where he was on tour. "When I get to do selections from the Great American Songbook, it's fun," Pizzarelli will headline at the Newport Beach Jazz Party on Feb. 17.

"The Duke Ellington thing has been very good to me," he said of Rockin' in Rhythm: A Tribute to Duke Ellington, which was released last year and features Pizzarelli and a talented cast of players revisiting a dozen Ellington works. Highlights include versions of "Satin Doll" and "I'm Beginning to See the Light" where his wonderful vocals are showcased, and the fast-paced instrumental gems "C Jam in Blues" and "Cottontail/Rockin' in Rhythm" medley that provide Pizzarelli a chance to display his impressive guitar playing.

Previously best-known for his acclaimed tributes to Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra, the Ellington tribute and subsequent shows in support of that Telarc/Concord Records release – including the upcoming Newport Beach date – have provided an added dimension for Pizzarelli.

"It gives you a completely new outlook," Pizzaelli said of jazz's most notable 20th century composer. "It also allows me to play more guitar."
There are other benefits of bringing his Ellington tribute out to the West Coast.
"Anything that gets me out of New York in February is a plus."

Jazz lovers who love the Newport Beach Jazz Party can plan on attending a summer series of Wednesday nights at the Marriott Newport Beach called "Sunset Jazz at Newport." Scheduled to run every Wednesday in the Rose Garden of the hotel, the series will run July 6 through Aug. 31, with a special Champagne Jazz Brunch Cruise on Newport Harbor set for Sunday, Sept. 4.

But for now, the focus of McClure and other organizers is on the Jazz Party.
"It's still work," McClure said. "It's not a big money-making venture. But it is a lot of satisfaction."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Steve Miller Band set to release 'Let Your Hair Down' on April 19

Steve Miller Band set to release 'Let Your Hair Down' on April 19, 2011







Following the success of last year's number one blues album, BINGO!, which was recently nominated as 'Blues Rock Album of the Year' by the Blues Foundation, The Steve Miller Band return with yet another new offering, Let Your Hair Down, which lands in stores April 19, 2011 on Miller's Space Cowboy Records in partnership with Roadrunner/Loud & Proud Records. The band will kick off the album release with a Spring tour beginning April 19 featuring special guest Gregg Allman. Prior to the album release and tour, The Steve Miller Band will celebrate the opening of the new Austin City Limits venue at The Moody Theater with a sold out gala concert event to benefit KRLU-TV, Austin PBS, on February 24, followed by the inaugural live taping on February 26.

Let Your Hair Down features the last recordings by harmonica virtuoso Norton Buffalo, Miller's "partner in harmony" for thirty-three years. Noted Pink Floyd album cover artist Storm Thorgerson, who also did the wonderfully whimsical cover to BINGO! returns to Let Your Hair Down with one of the great album covers of his career.

Miller, whose new album shines with some of the finest guitar playing he has ever recorded, will make a special appearance with jazz guitar greats Jim Hall, Bucky Pizzarelli and Howard Alden on February 12 in a concert celebrating the opening of the exhibit, "Guitar Heroes: Legendary Craftsmen From Italy To New York," at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Three custom-made archtop guitars by luthier James D'Aquisto from Miller's personal collection are included in the exhibit.

Prior to the release of Let Your Hair Down, The Steve Miller Band will perform material from the album at a gala concert opening the new multi-million dollar performance facility built for the long-running music TV series, "Austin City Limits," on February 24. Two days later, the band will tape the first show of the coming season in the new theater, while the streets outside are closed off and a huge party and free concert takes place.

To launch the release of Let Your Hair Down in high style, Miller also plans a series of theater and small arena dates in mid-April through the South and East Coast with Gregg Allman, whose new solo album, Low Country Blues, is one of the best-received releases of his career, a combination that is sure to produce some rip-roaring jam sessions onstage.

The new album caps one of the busiest years of Miller's accomplished career. In addition to the release last year of the acclaimed first new Steve Miller Band album in seventeen years ("cause for celebration," said The Huffington Post), Miller not only led a sold out tour across the United States and Canada, but returned to Europe for the first time in more than twenty-five years for a triumphant round of dates culminating in a sold out Royal Albert Hall concert in London.

One of rock music's all-time greats, The Steve Miller Band has sold more than 30 million records in a career spanning more than 40 years. His trademark blues-rock sound made him one of the key artists in classic rock radio. He is the Gangster of Love. Some people call him Maurice, the Midnight Toker or the Space Cowboy. And, as Let Your Hair Down so aptly demonstrates, Steve "Guitar" Miller still speaks in the pompitus of love.



February 23 House of Blues Dallas, TX

February 24 Austin City Limits Gala/Moody Theater Austin, TX - sold out!

February 25 House of Blues Houston, TX

February 26 Austin City Limits/Moody Theater Austin, TX

April 16 Allman Brothers' Wanee Music Festival Live Oak, FL

April 17 Tennessee Theater Knoxville, TN

April 19 North Charleston PAC North Charleston, SC *

April 20 Kota Booth Amphitheater Cary, NC *

April 22 LC Pavilion Columbus, OH *

April 23 Huntington Arena Toledo, OH *

April 26 Tower Theater Philadelphia, PA *

April 27 Kovalchick Complex Indiana, PA *

April 30 Musikfest Café - Arts Quest Center Bethlehem, PA

* featuring special guest Gregg Allman

And, according to a report published in the Orange County Register's Soundcheck blog earlier this week, the Steve Miller Band will also perform at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa, California (here in Orange County) on Thursday night, July 21, 2011. This show is a part of the annual Orange County Fair concert series.

For up-to-date information, please visit:

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Legacy Recordings Celebrates the 75th Birthday Year of Roy Orbison

Legacy Recordings Celebrates the 75th Birthday Year of Rock & Roll Legend Roy Orbison With Long-Awaited Mono Release of Roy Orbison: The Monument Singles Collection on Tuesday, April 5, 2011

NEW YORK, Feb. 8, 2011 -- Monument Records - The House That Roy Built: The Big O's Monument Singles Collection Debuts First-Ever CD Release Of Original Mono Mixes of All A & B Sides Cut For The Label, Plus DVD of Nine Songs From "The Monument Concert 1965" Digitally Restored, Includes The Official Video For "Oh Pretty Woman"

* * * * *

"Orbison...transcended all the genres--folk, country, rock and roll or just about anything. His stuff mixed all the styles and some that hadn't even been invented yet.... He sounded like he was singing from an Olympian mountaintop and he meant business." - Bob Dylan, Chronicles Vol. 1

"Roy's ballads were always best when you were alone in the dark. They were scary. His voice was unearthly.... I always wanted to sing like Roy Orbison..." - Bruce Springsteen

".... Roy Orbison! It was only because we were with Roy Orbison that we were there at all. He was definitely top of the bill... What a beacon in the southernmost gloom. The amazing Roy Orbison." - Keith Richards, Life

"Roy the singer, people talk about him all the time, everyone curtsies to the voice, and so they should. The thing people don't talk about enough as far as I'm concerned is how innovative this music was, how radical in terms of its songwriting. As I become more interested in songwriting, you hit a wall where Roy Orbison is standing." - Bono, 1999

* * * * *

Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, is celebrating the 75th birthday (April 23, 1936) year of Roy Orbison with the long-awaited release of Roy Orbison: The Monument Singles Collection, a 2 CD/1 DVD set including all the A&B sides recorded by Orbison for the groundbreaking Monument label during an electrifying peak from 1960-1964. Restored to pristine mono mixes for the first time since their original 7" vinyl releases, Roy Orbison: The Monument Singles Collection presents The Big O's core classic catalog the way it's meant to sound.

Roy Orbison: The Monument Singles Collection, a 2 CD/1 DVD set, will be available everywhere Tuesday, April 5, 2011. Roy Orbison - The Monument A-Sides will also be available on a single CD.

A small independent record label enjoying modest successes in the late 1950s, Monument Records grew to become a major force in American rock and roll, country, jazz and rhythm & blues, its label identity synonymous with its biggest star, Roy Orbison. Other artists on the Monument label have included Kris Kristofferson, Boots Randolph, Dolly Parton, Ray Stevens, Tony Joe White, Charlie McCoy, Willie Nelson and others.

The 75th birthday commemorative release of Roy Orbison: The Monument Singles Collection includes the first-ever DVD release of Orbison performing nine songs from "The Monument Concert 1965," including the official video for "Oh Pretty Woman," digitally restored for especially for this collection.

Roy Orbison: The Monument Singles Collection includes liner notes by Roy Orbison Jr. featuring new interviews with Fred Foster, Joe Melson, Bob Moore and others.

Best recognized around the world for his otherworldly voice and black sunglasses. Roy Orbison was both rock & roll pioneer and prototypical singer-songwriter, beginning with his first high school band (the Wink Westerners/Teen Kings) and shifting into mass consciousness in the 1960s with a string of singles for the Monument label that defined an artist and helped launch a label.

Orbison – along with a short list that included Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins – was one of the undisputed originators and architects of rock & roll at Sam Phillips' Sun Records. Orbison cut his first chart hit (it reached #1 on the local charts), "Ooby Dooby," for Sun in 1956, staying with the label for two years before a brief stint at RCA in 1958.

Roy Orbison signed with the newly emerging independent label Monument Records in mid-1959. While his second single for Monument, "Uptown," became his biggest hit as a performer since "Ooby Dooby," it was Orbison's third single for the label, "Only The Lonely (Know How I Feel)," which announced to the world the true artistry of Roy Orbison. The song peaked #2 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart, crossed over to #14 on the Billboard Black Singles chart, and rocketed up to #1 on the UK charts.

Orbison followed up the breakthrough with a pair of respectfully charting singles – "Blue Angel" (#9 Pop, #23 Black) and "I'm Hurtin'" (#27 Pop) – before knocking it out of the park with "Running Scared'," his first USA #1 Pop.

After that came an unbroken four-year string of Top 40 Hits – "Crying," "Candy Man," "Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)," "Working for the Man," "Leah," "In Dreams," "Pretty Paper," "Blue Bayou," " Mean Woman Blues," "It's Over" – during which Roy Orbison became America's top-selling recording artist and one of the world's most celebrated entertainers.

Orbison played shows with Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, the Everly Brothers, the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, Jimmy Page, the Eagles, Bruce Springsteen, Chris Isaak, and many, many others, the man and music leaving a deep impact on them all. The monumental 1963 Roy Orbison World Tour, which featured Patsy Cline (in the weeks before her death) as a support act in the states, helped break the then-rising Beatles (Orbison fans themselves who'd recorded Roy's hit "Dream Baby" for a BBC radio broadcast in 1962) when they played support on the European leg of the tour. Orbison's profound musical and emotional influences may be heard in early Beatles singles (e.g. "Love Me Do" after "Candy Man," "Please Please Me" after "Only The Lonely," "Daytripper" after "Oh, Pretty Woman").

Roy Orbison was one of the few established hit-makers from the late 1950s and early 1960s to not only hold his ground, but to actually increase his popularity in the wake of the British Invasion. He maintained his popularity through music which displayed an extraordinary variety of themes, structure, tempo and rhythm and an authentic, emotional connection that transcended mere craft, exemplified in his signature classic, "Oh, Pretty Woman," recorded on August 1st, 1964. Written by Orbison with his new writing partner Bill Dees, "Oh, Pretty Woman" became Roy's biggest hit and is one of the most recognized and popular songs of all time. Released in August 1964 in the US and in September of that year in the UK, the song hit the #1 slot in virtually every country in the world where people had record players, selling some seven million copies that year.

And this was only the beginning....

Ahead of Roy were 23 world tours, 12 albums for MGM, his starring role in the 1967 MGM feature film "The Fastest Guitar Alive," the 1988 all-star Cinemax special "Roy Orbison and Friends, A Black and White Night," The Traveling Wilburys (with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne), the Class of '55 reunion album (with Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins), television appearances on "Saturday Night Live" and "Austin City Limits," his 1988 Mystery Girl album, the 1992 posthumous collection King of Hearts (produced by Jeff Lynne), the posthumous hit singles "You Got It" and "I Drove All Night," not to mention lawsuits, deaths, fires, tragedies, and Grammy awards.

When Roy Orbison died in 1988, he had two albums in the Billboard Top 5. In 1990, the Pretty Woman soundtrack topped the charts. In 2010, Roy Orbison got his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the Capitol Records Building alongside John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Garth Brooks.,, Twitter@royorbison.


Disc One: The A-Sides

1. Uptown

2. Only The Lonely

3. Blue Angel

4. I'm Hurtin'

5. Running Scared

6. Lana

7. Crying

8. Let The Good Times Roll

9. Blue Bayou

10. Dream Baby

11. The Crowd

12. Working For The Man

13. In Dreams

14. Falling

15. It's Over

16. Oh, Pretty Woman

17. Goodnight

Bonus Tracks:

18. Pretty Paper

19. (Say) You're My Girl

20. Paper Boy

Disc Two: The B-Sides

1. Pretty One

2. Here Comes That Song Again

3. Today's Teardrops

4. I Can't Stop Loving You

5. Love Hurts

6. Summer Song

7. Candy Man

8. Mean Woman Blues

9. The Actress

10. Mama

11. Leah

12. Shahdaroba

13. Distant Drums

14. Indian Wedding

15. Yo Te Amo Maria

16. Only With You

Bonus Tracks:

17. Beautiful Dreamer

18. Sleepy Hollow

19. With The Bug

The Monument Concert - DVD

1. Only the Lonely

2. Running Scared

3. Crying

4. What'd I Say

5. Dream Baby

6. Mean Woman Blues

7. It's Over

8. Oh, Pretty Woman

9. Goodnight

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Upcoming releases updates: Augustana, Wye Oak, Tres Mts.

Wye Oak, pictured on left, is set to release its third album Civilian.



February 1, 2011 — Los Angeles, CA — Augustana will release their eagerly awaited self-titled third album for Epic Records on April 26, 2011. The first single from the album, “Steal Your Heart,” will go to radio on February 14. The band, which is fronted by vocalist/lyricist Daniel Layus, recorded the album in Los Angeles with Grammy Award-winning producer/engineer Jacquire King, who is known for his work with Kings of Leon and Norah Jones, among others.

“The creative and musical progression of this record feels like the most true expression of who this band is in its most basic form,” said Layus. “We worked really hard to bring the sound to a new frontier, but not so far that it lost that sense of organic sensibility.”

The album delivers on the emotionally resonant, rootsy pop/rock that Augustana have become known for since launching themselves onto the scene with their major-label debut, 2005’s All The Stars and Boulevards. The album reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart. It also spawned two Top 40 hits, “Stars and Boulevards” and “Boston,” which was certified digital platinum. The band’s follow-up, 2008’s Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt spawned the singles “Sweet and Low,” and “I Still Ain’t Over You.”

Augustana is vocalist Dan Layus, guitarist Chris Sachtleben, bassist Jared Palomar, and drummer Justin South.

The track-listing for Augustana is as follows:

1. Steal Your Heart
2. Wrong Side Of Love
3. On The Other Side
4. Counting Stars
5. Borrowed Time
6. Shot In The Dark
7. Someone’s Baby Now
8. Hurricane
9. Just Stay Here Tonight
10. It Only Means I Love You (You Were Made For Me)

Wye Oak are gearing up for the release of their highly anticipated third album Civilian with tour dates both here and abroad. Jenn & Andy are finishing up a run of dates opening for The Decemberists; a pairing that had Time Out NY wondering if "'King' Meloy was ceding ground to a queen of sorts, Jenn Wasner."

Without leaning on conventional structure, the songs on Civilian beguile with fascinating chords and melodies, Jenn’s voice and riveting lyrics, mesmerizing rhythms, and an intoxicating aural landscape. Just as good writing has meaning between the lines, Civilian has meaning between the sounds: the combinations of harmonies, timbres, and words summon vivid and ineffable associations just beyond reach.

While their debut album If Children was about the bonds of family, and its follow-up, The Knot, was about bonds with everyone else, Civilian is about bonds breaking and powerful energies being released. "This is the most emotionally direct set of songs that I’ve heard Jenn write,” Andy says. “I think she’s a little uncomfortable with that, but it sure is nice for anyone who listens to them.” Although the lyrics are unflinchingly personal, they’re shrouded in double-tracking and harmonies, submerged in the mix, and sometimes oddly phrased—almost smudging over their meanings. “These songs contain fragile information,” Jenn explains. “It’s a tightrope for me. It’s the only way to make songs that are so intensely personal.”

Civilian has made the "most-anticipated" lists from NPR who called it "blustery and mysterious" and The AV Club who wrote that the title-track made a "whole album's worth seem very enticing indeed."
See live video from Wye Oak's "secret" show during the blizzard in NYC last week, and don't miss them on tour! Photos & an MP3 to share can be found at their press page.
Wye Oak on tour:
* = The Decemberists
# = Lower Dens
% = Callers

Feb 02 Royal Oak, MI Royal Oak Music Theatre *
Feb 04 Chicago, IL Riviera Theatre *
Mar 11 Washington, DC Black Cat #
Mar 12 Chapel Hill, NC Local 506 #
Mar 13 Atlanta, GA The Earl #
Mar 15 Norman, OK The Opolis #
Mar 21 Tucson, AZ Solar Culture %
Mar 22 San Diego, CA Casbah %
Mar 24 Los Angeles, CA The Echo %
Mar 25 San Francisco, CA Bottom of the Hill %
Mar 27 Vancouver, BC Media Club %
Mar 29 Portland, OR Mississippi Studios %
Mar 31 Nampa, ID Flying M Coffee %
Apr 01 Salt Lake City, UT Kilby Court %
Apr 02 Denver, CO Larimer Lounge %
Apr 03 Omaha, NE Slowdown Jr %
Apr 04 Iowa City, IA The Mill %
Apr 05 St. Paul, MN Turf Club %
Apr 06 Appleton, WI Lawrence University %
Apr 15 Philadelphia, PA Johnny Brenda’s





SEATTLE - Tres Mts., a musical project comprised of bassist Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam, vocalist and guitarist dUg Pinnick of King's X and drummer Richard Stuverud of The Fastbacks, will release their debut album, Three Mountains, through Pearl Jam's Monkeywrench Records on Tuesday, March 8, 2011. An album pre-sale begins today, February 1st, at

In support of Three Mountains, Tres Mts. will hit the road on a 5-city tour starting March 16 in Seattle. The tour stops in D.C., Philadelphia, New York and wraps in Boston on March 27 (full dates below). While on the road, Tres Mts. are also scheduled to perform as the musical guest on NBC's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Thursday, March 24.

Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, who plays guitar on Three Mountains, will join Ament, Pinnick and Stuverud on tour.

Ticket sales for the Tres Mts. tour dates begin Friday, February 4 at 10 a.m. local time. A pre-sale for the New York City date takes place Thursday, February 3 from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Eastern at A pre-sale for the Seattle date takes from 10am Pacific on Thursday, February 3 through the public on sale time at

More on Tres Mts.:
On January 24, the world was introduced to Tres Mts. via a news post on Pearl Jam's website and social networks. In that posting, Jeff Ament shared the following history of the band:

I first saw dUg Pinnick sing and play in 1989 with his band Kings X at the Central Tavern. Three years later, I asked them to open some shows for Pearl Jam and we quickly became friends. I always joked, "when are we gonna make that heavy R & B record, you and me?"

In 2001, dUg joined Richard Stuverud and me in one of our yearly writing sessions in Montana and again in 2004 with McCready. After a few years of crossed up schedules, in 2010, we finally mixed the baker's dozen songs that make up Tres Mts..These guys are all monsters and this batch of tunes is gonna be fun to play live.

-Jeff Ament

The same day the project was unveiled, Tres Mts. released "My Baby," the first track from their forthcoming album, free for download on the band's website. To date, over 10,000 copies of the track have been downloaded. To download the Tres Mts.' track, "My Baby," and join the band's mailing list, visit:

Tres Mts. Tour Dates:

Date City Venue Ticket Price/Outlets
March 16 Seattle, WA Showbox at the Market $18 /
March 21 Washington, D.C. Black Cat $20 /
March 23 Philadelphia, PA Theatre of the Living Arts $20 /
March 26 New York, NY Gramercy Theater $20 /
March 27 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club $20 /

Three Mountains Track Listing:

1. My Baby
2. Oh, Lord
3. God Told Me
4. Makes Me Feel
5. Holes in the Road
6. In the Middle
7. Life
8. Afrosheena
9. She's My New Song
10. Utah
11. Break
12. Mystery
13. She's My New Reprise

For more information on Tres Mts., visit